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Level 1

Payroll in QB2018 desktop pro

Does QB Desktop Pro 2018 include fundamental payroll functions?  I bought this software almost a year ago and have been so busy with a small start up business that I am only now getting around to installing and using the software.  Last season we had our first run with employees - 8 or 9 part timers for a couple of months - and used a columnar sheet (remember THOSE?) to process payroll.  I am trying to figure out how to convert the spreadsheet to utilize QB for payroll this summer.  Seems that every menu option I try points to the QB payroll package which for my purposes would be a form of overkill.  I have to believe there is a simple way to handle payroll within the QB desktop app.   HOPING for suggestions!


Larry McMaster

Hunts Pond Farm in New Berlin, NY

[email address removed]

2 Comments 2
QuickBooks Team

Payroll in QB2018 desktop pro

Hi there, @larrmeister.


Good to see you here in QuickBooks Community. I'm here to help provide you an option on how to record the transactions in QuickBooks Desktop. 


If you'd like to record the information from spreadsheet to QuickBooks Desktop without using payroll subscription, you have the options to process a journal entry or manual payroll. 


When making a journal entries, I encourage you to consult an accountant for guidance since you need to know which account receives the debit and the credit side of transactions. 


To create journal entry, you can follow the steps in this article: Record a journal entry


You may also set up manual payroll in QuickBooks Desktop without subscription by following the detailed steps in this article: Set up payroll without a subscription.


You may also contact our Care Support, they have the tools to pull up your account and activate your QuickBooks. 


Here's how you can contact our phone support:

  1. Click this link:
  2. Select US version of QuickBooks Desktop, and click Contact Us.
  3. Type-in Technical Support on the search bar.
  4. Click the Get the phone number below. 

Please know that I'm just a post away if you have any other questions. Have a good one. 

Level 15

Payroll in QB2018 desktop pro

I recommend setting the file to Manual Payroll and avoid JE entirely. For one thing, you don't need a JE, because you would list the Gross Pay and all details including withholding in the bottom part of the manual Write Check as a payroll check ending with Net Takehome. By setting up Manual Payroll, you get about 2/3 of the Functions, you get all the Job Tracking functions if that matters to you for job costing, and you get most of the payroll reports.


If you are using spreadsheets, you already understand payroll behind the scenes. Typically, that part takes me a 6 hour class, to teach "QB and Payroll" because the Payroll Part is something hardly understood. Setting up Manual Payroll in QB is pretty easy when you already know what it is supposed to be doing.

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